Thursday, April 26, 2012

Postcards from the Edge: Chelsea 2 - Barcelona 2

Postcard wall

I somehow contrived to get on the plane with the slowest Internet connection speed possible  -- Thanks, Virgin America! -- which made me miss the first half of the Chelsea vs Barcelona semi-final second leg. Not that I missed much, mind you: Gary Cahill and Gerard Piqué both being injured and subbed off early, John Terry being caught red handed (red kneed?) and shown a card of a similar color by the game's Turkish Referee, Barcelona hitting the back of the net twice and Chelsea scoring against the run of play in first half stoppage time.  No, it was just another run of the mill first half of football.

The second half I did manage to catch, and here's what I saw --  including some postcards I wrote to my friends:

Dear JT: WHAT IN THE WORLD were you thinking?  I called you out for your knee to the back of Alexis Sanchez in last week's game, but you couldn't help yourself again today.  You're like the scorpion in the story of the scorpion and the frog.....  You showed your true colors on Wednesday -- and there's no mincing words here: You're a cheat, on the pitch as well as off it.

PS| Nice try on the attempt to lie and deceive your way out of the situation -- but your usual tricks weren't working last night.  You would never deliberately knee a player?  That's an interesting statement.  What exactly did you do to the very same Alexis Sanchez last week at Stamford Bridge?

Dear Victor: I know goaltender is not the most exciting spot on the pitch at Barcelona, but have you ever heard of positioning...?  That word looked like Greek to you as you allowed Ramires to chip over your head for a stunning blow in first half stoppage time.

Dear Didier: Giving up a penalty to Barcelona less than a minute into the second half, right after RDM must surely have talked to you about keeping your discipline?  Really?

Dear Lio: Missing that very same penalty?  REALLY??  I guess even robots make mistakes every now and then.

Dear Cuneyt Cakir: A yellow card to Cech for delaying the game before it even hit the hour mark....  I don't recall that happening very often in other games -- UEFA must have issued you very strict instructions.

Dear Barcelona: Please stop feigning injuries and badgering Referees.  You may wonder why so few people like you -- Respect, yes, but like?  Not really -- but all you need to do to find the answer is look in the mirror.  You may be the reigning European champions, but your constant whining, faking and diving is an embarrassment to the game, and a serious tarnish to your crown.  There won't be many tears shed outside of Catalonia that you've failed to retain your crown

Dear Cesc: How's the new gig working out?  I'll bet your vision of returning home didn't include being substituted for Seydou Keita with the Champions League Semi-Final on the line.

Dear Roberto: Taking off Drogba for Torres with 10 minutes left in the game?  I would have understood you bringing on  another defender. But Torres? I thought you were suicidal.  I guess that's why you're the coach and I'm not.

Dear 'Nando: Unbelievable. I have no words (other than those I've just written).

Dear Newcastle and Spurs: Have fun in the battle for fourth, but all the marbles may involve finishing third.  I'll bet I know which team you'll be rooting for in the finals.

Dear Real and Bayern: No Terry, No Ramires, No Ivanovic, No Meireles. Have fun.

This is farlieonfootie for April 26.

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